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Die essentiellen Bausteine des Lebens: Bedeutung und Supplementierung von essentiellen Aminosäuren

The essential building blocks of life: Importance and supplementation of essential amino acids

Essential amino acids are the building blocks of life that our bodies depend on to function and thrive. They play a crucial role in almost every biological process, from repairing tissue to producing enzymes that power our metabolism. The human body requires twenty different amino acids to synthesize proteins. Of these twenty, nine are known as essential amino acids because our body cannot produce them itself. These must be supplied through our diet or through supplementation. The nine essential amino acids are: leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and histidine.

The importance of essential amino acids

Essential amino acids are essential for a number of vital functions. Not only are they the basic building blocks for building muscle protein, but they are also crucial for healing wounds and repairing tissue, especially in muscles, bones, skin and hair. They are also essential for the synthesis of enzymes and neurotransmitters, making them key components in the metabolism and functioning of the nervous system.

Leucine, isoleucine and valine, known as the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), are particularly well known for their roles in muscle building and post-workout recovery. These amino acids may also help reduce fatigue by regulating the production of serotonin in the brain.

Lysine is important for immune function, collagen production and calcium absorption. Methionine plays a role in liver detoxification and is essential for the absorption of zinc and selenium, both of which are essential for health.

Phenylalanine is a precursor for the neurotransmitters dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine, which are important for controlling mood and well-being. Threonine supports the functions of the immune, intestinal and nervous systems. Tryptophan is known to be converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood, sleep and behavior. Histidine is required for tissue growth and repair and is a precursor to histamine, which is essential for immune responses, digestion and sexual function.

Supplementation options

Although a balanced diet rich in protein is usually enough to meet our needs for essential amino acids, there are situations in which people may benefit from supplementation. Athletes, people following a vegan or vegetarian diet, and those with certain health conditions may have difficulty obtaining sufficient amounts from their diet alone.

There are several ways to supplement essential amino acids:

  1. Protein-rich supplements: These can come in the form of powders, bars or shakes and are often based on whey, soy, pea or rice protein. They are convenient for people who have difficulty meeting their protein needs through diet.

  1. Free Amino Acid Supplements : These supplements provide essential amino acids in their free form, meaning they do not need to be digested and can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. They are particularly useful for post-workout recovery or medicinal purposes.

  1. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): Supplements that specifically contain the three BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine are popular among athletes to promote muscle building and shorten recovery times.


Essential amino acids are essential for our health and well-being. A balanced diet is the best way to ensure the body is supplied with these important nutrients. In certain cases, however, supplementation may be useful or necessary. As with any supplement, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking to determine individual needs and to ensure there are no interactions with other medications or health conditions.

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